- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover; First Edition edition (August 4, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 157322314X
- ISBN-13: 978-1573223140
- Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 165 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,640,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell: An Accidental Soldier's Account of the War in Iraq First Edition Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Having joined the National Guard for the tuition benefits, Crawford, like many of his contemporaries, never expected to do any heavy lifting. Early on, he admits his is "the story of a group of college students... who wanted nothing to do with someone else's war." But when his Florida National Guard unit was activated, he was shipped to Kuwait shortly before the invasion of Iraq. Armed with shoddy equipment, led by incompetent officers and finding release in the occasional indulgence in pharmaceuticals, Crawford cared little for the mission and less for the Iraqis. "Mostly we were guarding gas stations and running patrols," he explains. As for Iraqi civilians, "I didn't give a shit what happened to any of them," he confesses after inadvertently saving an Iraqi boy from a mob beating. Crawford's disdain grows with each extension of his tour, and he leaves Iraq broke, rudderless and embittered. Unfortunately, Crawford dresses up his story in strained metaphors and tired clichés such as "truth engulfed me like a storm cloud" and "you can never go back home." Despite its pretensions, Crawford's story is not the classic foot soldier's memoir and should provide enough gristle to please military memoir fans.
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...a moving, harrowing, bold and bitterly beautiful vision of the horror of war and the Americans now dying in it. -- Florida Times-Union
...reading this book feels like climbing into a Humvee to go patrol [Crawford's] sector with him in 130-degree heat. -- Newark Star-Ledger
A tremendous book ... incredibly gripping and incredibly well-written... It's a remarkable story... I urge everyone to go...grab it. -- Jon Stewart, The Daily Show
Crawford tells tales that bring human dimensions to his situation. -- The New York Times
Crawford's writing pulses with urgency, and, gloriously, his story of being an American soldier in Iraq is shattering and relentless. -- David Amsden, author of Important Things That Don't Matter
I picked up Crawford's book and with the first paragraph I was hooked. -- Thom Jones, author of Pugilist at Rest
I read John Crawford's book twice this week. -- militarywife.blogspot.com
Reading it you get the sense that...Catch-22 was more real than fictional, and suddenly Vonnegut sounds less insane. -- prakope.com
[This] should join Catch-22 and The Things They Carried as this generation's defining literary expression of men at war. -- James Frey
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This book made me pick up my pencils and paint brushes and start doing work that might make people think again about being more concerned with the color of a dress over the death and destruction in Iraq.
John Crawford's book offers a view into the weary world and mind of a combat soldier. It isn't glamorous and offers nothing in the way to justify the war in Iraq. It is about one man trying to survive and keep some small part of his sanity dealing with things that are completely alien to the fat and lazy civilians for whom our wars are at best episodes in some low rated reality show.